how do they do it? seeing larvae

Sunsol SUNSOL at
Sun Sep 2 22:44:20 EDT 2001

Liz, maybe short trees would work. :) I have a neighbor with willow out in
front of her house. She has raised Western Tiger Swallowtails several times.
I planted a cherry leaved holly years ago. I finally found Pale swallowtail
eggs last year. This year, I actually saw a female laying eggs and was able
to collect two. I have a caterpillar on my kitchen window sill right now. It
seems late in the season. I hope it will develop okay.

Liz Day <beebuzz at> wrote in message
news: at
> Just returned from a "collecting" trip (really an "oh my, looky at that!")
> trip, in which I identified some larvae using the Caterpillars of Eastern
> Forests book.
> This book makes me wonder:   Just how did the authors, or anyone else,
> obtain some of these larvae?
> For instance, I have never seen a Tiger Swallowtail larva, and of most
> sphinx moths, and have no idea how I could do so (besides buying
> them).   The female TS won't lay eggs in a paper bag like a moth.  Some
> butterflies you can follow her and pick up the eggs, but I never see TS
> engaged in egg-laying,  just flying rapidly along way up in the trees
> (usually I can't even keep them in view very long).   With cherry and
> host trees, 99% of the plant is out of reach, so I don't think searching
> for larvae would work well, unless you could do it from a cherry
> picker.  So how the heck do people ever see this caterpillar, other than
> pure chance?
> Same question, for those kinds of moths that won't lay eggs in a paper
> and whose larvae feed up in trees.    I'm having caterpillar envy!
> Thanks,
> Liz Day
> Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA
> daylight at
> Larvae seen in Posey Co., extreme SW Indiana:
> monarch on that vining milkweed
> silver-spotted skipper (egg, too)
> viceroy
> question mark
> buckeye (chrysalis too)
> painted lady (??)
> unknown lycaenid on wingstem attended by ants
> smeared dagger moth (?) on polygonum
> Virginia bear arctiid moth (unbelievably abundant)
> poplar tentmaker prominent moth (defoliating everything in sight)
> 2 different large twig-mimicking inchworms on sandbar willow
> At New Harmony, IN, across from the Atheneum, is a field with apple trees
> and oodles of 6 or 7 kinds of nymphalids feeding on the rotting fruit
> including tawny emperor.   These butterflies were easy to pick up on your
> finger. Nearby a garden with balsam is loaded with pipevine swallowtails.
> At Mt. Vernon, IN, I had a dramatic look at a pink-spotted sphinx moth
> drinking from evening primrose around midnight after a rain.  Its eyes
> blazed like neon rubies in my flashlight beam through 20 feet of fog and
> mist.  It flew and hovered with the tongue hanging out like an elephant's
> trunk.  This tongue must have been 3-4" long; the moth barely needed to
> approach to reach the masses of flowers, which smelled faintly like
> honeysuckle.  Amazing.
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Liz Day
> Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA  (40 N, ~86 W)
> Home of budgerigar Tweeter and the beautiful pink inchworm (Eupithecia
> miserulata).
> USDA zone 5b.  Winters ~20F, summers ~85F.  Formerly temperate deciduous
> forest.
> daylight at
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